Interview with Harel Wiesel

Harel Wiesel
Harel Wiesel
Co-Founder and CEO
Fox Wizel Ltd
Fox Wizel Ltd

China will remain the major garment sourcing destination of the developed and developing countries
Harel Wiesel, Co-Founder and CEO of Fox Wizel Ltd, discusses about subtle and transformative changes in the clothing industry worldwide. Synopsis: Fox-Wizel Ltd, an Israeli fashion retailer, owns and operates fashion chain stores of its own brand "Fox". In addition, Fox has sole distribution rights to the American Eagle and Aerie fashion brands in Israel, successfully opening and operating 29 stores in 2 years. FOX also received exclusive franchisee status for The Children's Place in Israel. Moreover, FOX has successfully expanded into the home goods and home fashion market via its brand: "Fox Home". Wiesel, 48, is also the controlling shareholder of Fox Wizel. He was born in Israel and is married with 3 children. Excerpts:

As a global retailer and distributor of private label apparel products for men, women and children, what do you think are the major factors that may drive changes in the clothing sector worldwide?

The major factors which will drive changes in the apparel sector include:
  • Increase in purchasing power of lower segments of the population, which will result in more consumption circulation, especially in the lower and middle segments of the clothing business. At the same time, we will also witness faster mobilization inside the social casts.
  • Using new as well as advanced fabrics and technology will lower the production cost and it will also allow the industry to rely more on technology than on manpower.
  • Mobilization of production from country to country and closing the professional gap between them.
  • Fox Group became exclusive franchise for leading brands in the US, UK and continental Europe. How do you look at the prospects of expanding your business to Asia and Middle-Eastern countries? What are the reasons?

    Fox Group is a franchise for apparel brands from the US and Australia as well as a leading manufacturer of its own garment brand 'FOX'. We intend to add more franchisees with concrete knowledge of the retail arena in the countries apart from those wherein we are already operating our store, such as Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, India, etc. For that manner, we offer best partnership and real 'know how' of franchise operation and brand management.

    Emerging technologies are changing the entire supply chain in both subtle and transformative ways. What further developments do you foresee in the apparel supply chain in the next few years?

    I think, clothing brands around the world will try to diversify their supply sources and they will also try to cut the lead time of the supply chain. At the same time, apparel makers will try to be more flexible with the production in order to provide fast as well as quality solutions to the buyers and to deliver emerging trends in shorte time to market.

    With continuing potential for labor disruptions at the ports, disruptions from natural calamities and other factors, how important is contingency planning within the supply chain operation? What are the keys to an effective contingency plan?

    We are managers but not wizards, so what we can do is to narrow the proportion of relying on single source, both in production and transportation. For instance, we can try to have more ports in the country of origin; we can also try airways and roadways. But at the end, we are also limited to what we can do; general strike or major disaster will reflect us like all the others.

    While consumers have come to expect a seamless experience across all channels, delivering on that promise can be very complex. What are the keys to overcome such challenges and be successful?

    From our experience, this seamless trend is more visible in innerwear and sportswear segments and these segments are very small in our business. We have not seen it yet in the high and casual fashion segments, wherein we are mainly focusing our business.
    Published on: 19/05/2014

    DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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